All of these restaurants have opened in Tucson since the last gem show
Culinary Dropout — 2543 E. Grant Road
With the addition of Culinary Dropout, at 2543 E. Grant Road, restaurateur Sam Fox has added to a stable of Fox Restaurant Concepts in Tucson that includes Wildflower, Zinburger, Blanco Tacos + Tequila and North Italia.
The massive 19,000-square-foot restaurant, one of several Culinary Dropouts in Phoenix, Las Vegas and Austin, is set-up on the same property where Grant Road Lumber stood for more than 60 years (across the street from the likes of Dante's Fire and Kingfisher).
Culinary Dropout sports a menu full of salads, sandwiches, entrees, small plates and appetizers, as well as a sizable drink menu.
Seating is plentiful, with the restaurant closing at 1 a.m. on Fridays and Saturdays.
The Dutch Eatery & Refuge — 943 E. University Blvd
The Dutch Eatery replaced Wilko at 943 E. University Blvd, early last summer.
Because Chef Marcus van Winden was born and raised in Holland, the menu's dishes reflect both European and Americana influences.
We recommend the War Fries, french fries with a sambal hot paste, peanut sauce, mayo and onion, and maybe a slice of Dutch apple pie for dessert!
Abuela's Cocina Mexicana — 60 N. Alvernon Way
Abuela's Cocina is one of the newest additions to Tucson's food scene, a concept that comes from the Aldecoa brothers, the siblings behind Brother John's Beer, Bourbon & BBQ on North Stone Avenue.
Abuela's, in the former home of Old Pueblo Grille at 60 N. Alvernon Way, features classic Mexican dishes using recipes from the mother of the restaurant's third partner, Jorge Alvarez. His mother, Georgina Alvarez, also helps run the kitchen.
In an added twist, Abuela's incorporates some of Brother John's smoked meats into certain menu items, according to John Aldecoa.
Ken's Hardwood Barbecue - 5250 E. 22nd St.
Ken's Hardwood Barbecue is located at 5250 E. 22nd St., in the old home of what was Jack's Original Barbecue from 1950 until 2013, then several other incarnations, including a Dickey's Barbecue franchise, until Ken Alexander and his partner/nephew, Terrance James took over last year.
Alexander already had a reputation for tasty barbecue with his food truck of the same name.
Much like Mr. K's on South Park Avenue, the ambiance at Ken's is downright basic, but the meats are oh, so tasty.
Classic: Spaghetti Western Steakhouse — 1535 N. Stone Ave.
From the mind of restaurateur Kade Mislinski comes Classic Steakhouse, a Spaghetti Western-themed dining experience, just north of Pima Community College's downtown campus.
The restaurant's menu features pastas and sandwiches, a spaghetti and 16-ounce ribeye dish, and prime rib served daily.
The atmosphere: Low-key with an old-school feel not unlike Mama Louisa's on South Craycroft Road.
Mislinski has a reputation for launching new and creative concepts. He's involved with several ventures around town, including Saguaro Corners on Old Spanish Trail and Batch, a bar that serves whiskey and doughnuts, downtown.
The Royal Room — 450 N. Sixth Ave.
The Royal Room is the perfect place to unwind after a long day of hunting for precious gems, minerals and fossils.
The spot, at 450 N. Sixth Ave., is a wine bar first and foremost, but comes with a decent selection of beers on tap and in coolers and a menu that includes sandwiches and meat and cheese options.
Large windows and a corner location make it easy to watch the world roll by.
Anello Pizzeria — 222 E. Sixth St.
"Pizza is a common food. When I was in Naples, everyone could eat pizza," Girod told the Star before his opening. "You could get an individual pizza for one euro and they served it on butcher paper."
Girod worked for Chris Bianco for four years, including two at Bianco's Phoenix restaurants. He was with the James Beard Award-winning chef when he opened Pizzeria Biancoat 272 E. Congress St. in summer 2014 and stuck with him until he closed in mid-September.